8 Reasons Why Malala Yousafzai Should Be Your Hero

8 Reasons Why Malala Yousafzai Should Be Your Hero

"When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful."

If you’ve never heard the name Malala Yousafzai, you are about to be blown away. Malala is an 18-year-old girl from Pakistan who is an advocate for education for girls. She is truly an incredible woman to whom I look up even though she is younger than me!

1. Malala rocks because she was shot in the head and survived.

When she was 15-years-old, she was on her way home from school and was shot in the head by the Taliban. The Taliban had issued a death threat for Malala when she was 14 because she was an advocate for girls' education. She was in a coma for more than a week and had to recover both physically and mentally. Just a few months after being shot in the head, she went back to attending school.

2. At just 11 years old, she created an anonymous blog for BBC.

She expressed her views on education and the Taliban taking over her valley. This blog is what got her on the Taliban’s radar.

3. On her 16th birthday, she addressed the United Nations in an inspiring speech.

4. She has written her own book.

I read Malala’s book right when it was released and I highly recommend you read it as well. We take education for granted in the United States, so it is truly incredible to read Malala’s story and hear about the hardships girls have to go through in other countries. She wrote this book when she was just 16 years old!

5. Malala is the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

At 17 years old, Malala received the Nobel Peace Prize for being an advocate for education for all.

6. She was one of 2013 TIME'S Top 100 Most Influential People.

7. On her 18th birthday, she opened a school.

On July 12, 2015, also called Malala Day, she opened a school for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. It was created to admit 200 girls, ages 14 to 18. "Today on my first day as an adult, on behalf of the world's children, I demand of leaders we must invest in books instead of bullets," Yousafzai proclaimed in one of the school's classrooms.

8. She has her own documentary movie.

On Oct. 2, I will be waiting in line at the movie theater to see Malala’s documentary, “He Named Me Malala.” This documentary gives viewers an intimate look at Malala’s fight for education for all.

You should give Malala’s book a read because it truly puts things in perspective about how lucky we are to get an education. She is such an incredible woman, and I look up to her so much!

"Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world." --Malala Yousafzai

"In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It's their normal life. But in other part of the world, we are starving for education ... it's like a precious gift. It's like a diamond." --Malala Yousafzai

"There should be no discrimination against languages people speak, skin color, or religion." --Malala Yousafzai

"We must tell girls their voices are important." --Malala Yousafzai

"If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education." --Malala Yousafzai

Cover Image Credit: static.communitytable.parade.com

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.


While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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